Collective Intelligence

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  • Mankind's emerging world in cyberspace.
  • Key words: nomadic earth, molar technologies, anthropological spaces, collective intellect, informational universe, commodity space, knowledge space, molecular politics, preceding spaces, collective intelligence, agent intellect, territorial space, intelligent city, fourth space, angelic body, intelligent communities, intelligent community, intellectual technologies.
  • ISBN 0-7382-0261-4
  • Pages in book: 277.
  • Translated by Robert Bononno.
  • Copyright © 1997 Robert Bononno.
  • First printing 1999.
  • Read by Martien van Steenbergen, April-May 2000.
  • Survey/Review Copyright © 2000 by Martien van Steenbergen, 2000-05-06.
  • Numbers in square brackets refer to corresponding page number, e.g. [13].
  • Relevant superscripts1 refer to the corresponding chapter notes in the back of the book.
  • {Text in braces are personal notes.}
  • {fluidiom} refers to Gerald de Jong's Fluidiom project. Search for "fluid" (not "{fluidiom}, that'll be too restrictive) and you'll find some very interesting thoughts. See also http://www.fluidiom.com.
  • {Joy} refers to Bill Joy's article titled "Why the future doesn't need us", published in Wired magazine in May 2000 (Wired 7.05). See also http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/8.04/joy_pr.html
  • {Kauffman} refers to Stuart Kauffman's book "At home in the Universe", on complexity, self-organization, and emergent complex systems.
  • {gossip} refers to Tryllian's "Agents on the move.", see http://www.tryllian.com.

Contents

Foreword [vii]

  • Foreword by Eugene F. Provenzo, Jr., Miami, Florida.
  • Computers and social theory. [vii]
  • Deeply cultural and philosophical, metaphysical and utopian. [vii]
  • Douglas Engelbart: computers can be used to augment intellect. [viii]
  • Lévy's starting point is grounded in social, economic and political structures. [ix]
  • The prosperity of a nation, geographical region, business, or individual depends on their ability to navigate the knowledge space. [ix]
  • The Knowledge Space takes precedence over the spaces of earth, territory and commerce that preceded it. [ix]
  • Lévy is attempting to map or create a detailed cartography of these spaces and their interrelationship [ix]
  • The Knowledge Space is also referred to as the cosmopedia. [ix]
  • The cosmopedia, as knowledge space around which the new collective intelligence is organized goes beyond the image and text characteristic of print-based encyclopedias. [ix]
  • New computer technologies such as the Internet and World Wide Web will serve to filter and help us navigate knowledge, and enable us t think collectively rather than simply haul masses of information around with us. [x]
  • Collective intelligence is a universally distributed intelligence. [xi]
  • No one knows everything, and everyone knows something. [xi]
  • We are passing from a Cartesian model of thought based upon the singular idea of cogito (I think) to a collective or plural cogitamus (we think). The computer is the instrument that makes this utopian ideal possible. [xi]
  • We are moving from a typographic or modern culture into a post-typographic or post-modern culture. The parallels to the transition from Medieval to Renaissance culture--from a largely oral and spoken to a text and print-based culture seam clear. [xi]

Prologue: The Nomad Planet [xix]

  • This book is intended to promote that development from an anthropological perspective and forge a positive vision. [xxii]
  • We have again become nomads. [xxii]
  • We are moving from one humanity to another. [xxiii]
  • Terra incognita. [xxv]
  • Time now is errant, oblique, indeterminate, like that which precedes all origins. [xxv]
  • Over the course of several millennia, however, homo habilis became sapiens, crossed a similar threshold, went forth into the unknown, invented the earth, the gods, and the infinite world of signification. [xxvii]
  • First, we will have at our disposal simple and practical means for knowing what we are doing as a group. Second, we will be able to manipulate, much more easily than we are able to write, the instruments for collective utterance. [xxviii]

Collective Intelligence: Mankind's emerging world in cyberspace

Introduction [1]

Economy [1]

  • The prosperity of a nation, geographical region, business, or individual depends on their ability to navigate the knowledge space. [1]
  • Power is now conferred through the optimal management of knowledge, whether it involves technology, science, communication, or our "ethical" relationship with the other. [1]
  • The more we are able to form intelligent communities, as open-minded, cognitive subjects capable of initiative, imagination, and rapid response, the more we will be able to ensure our success in a highly competitive environment. [1]
  • The service sector itself is increasingly coming under siege by a variety of technological objects. It is becoming industrialized, as characterized by the presence of ATMs, web sites, educational software, expert systems, etc. [2]
  • Businesses tend to organize themselves in such a way that they are receptive to innovation networks. [2]
  • Once the process of renewal slows down, the company or organization is in danger of petrification and extinction. As Michel Serres has written, knowledge has become the new infrastructure. [2]
  • Totalitarism collapsed in the face of new forms of mobile and cooperative labor. It was incapable of collective intelligence. [3]
  • The continuous production of subjectivity will most likely be the major economic activity throughout the next century. [4]
  • Individuals and microcorporations are more capable than large companies of continuous reorganization and optimal enhancement of the individual skills tat are currently the requirements for success. [4]
  • We are witnessing the development of complex forms of confrontational interdependence among skill zones that are fluid, delocalized, based on the singularities, and agitated by permanent molecular movements of association and rivalry. [5]
  • The ability to rapidly form and reform intelligent communities will become the decisive weapon of regional skill centers competing within a globalized economic space. [5]

Anthropology [5]

  • What is an anthropological space? It is a system of proximity (space) unique to the world of humanity (anthropological), and thus dependent on human technologies, significations, culture, conventions, representations and emotions. [5]
  • Four anthropological spaces: earth, territorial space, commodity space, knowledge space.
  • Earth: homo sapiens: The first item on our resumé is generally our name, our symbolic inscription within an ancestral line. [6]
  • Territorial space: Agriculture, city, state, writing: Today, along with our name, we have an address, which serves to identify ourselves within the territory of residents and taxpayers. [6]
  • Commodity space had a deterritorializing effect.
  • The commodity space did not eliminate the preceding spaces, it outpaced them. [7]
  • On our resumé, right after our name (position on earth) and our address (position within the territory), we generally indicate our profession (position in the commodity space). [8]
  • The knowledge space will control preceding spaces, rather than eliminate them. [8]
  • Our living knowledge, skills and abilities are in the process of being recognized as the primary source of all other wealth. [9]
  • Internetworked data would then provide the technical infrastructure for the collective brain or hypercortex. [9]

The Social Bond and Its Relationship to Knowledge [10]

  • Collective intelligence, as the term is used in this book, is a global project whose ethical and aesthetic dimensions are as important as its technological and organizational aspects. [10]
  • This vision of the future is organized around two complementary axes: the renewal of the social bonds through our relation to knowledge and collective intelligence itself. [11]
  • By establishing the social bond on the basis of our relationship to knowledge, we will encourage growth of a deterritorialized civility that coincides with contemporary sources of power while incorporating the most intimate forms of subjectivity. [11]
  • Knowledge trees enable us to encounter the other as a bundle of knowledge, within the knowledge space and no longer as name, address, profession or social status. [12]

What is Collective Intelligence? [13]

  • Collective intelligence is a form of universal distributed intelligence, constantly enhanced, coordinated in real time, and resulting in the effective mobilization of skills. [13]
  • The basis and goal of collective intelligence is the mutual recognition and enrichment of individuals rather than the cult of fetishized or hypostasized communities. [13]
  • Intelligence is constantly enhanced. [14] {Engelbart: Constantly better in getting better.}
  • Intelligence is coordinated in real time. [14]
  • Skills are effectively mobilized. [15]
  • Collective intelligence must not be confused with totalitarian projects involving the subordination of individuals to transcendent and fetishistic communities. [16]
  • In an ant colony, the individuals are dumb; they have no collective vision and no awareness of how their actions are integrated with those of other individuals. But although individual ants might be stupid, their action results in an emergent behavior that is globally intelligent. [16]
  • The ant colony is the opposite of collective intelligence in the sense that I am using the expression. Far from leading us in the direction of the knowledge space, the ant colony precedes the earth. Any attempt to assimilate the operation of society to that of an ant colony should be considered barbarous and reprehensible. [16]
  • Through processes of transmission, invention, or forgetfulness, heritage becomes an element of individual responsibility. [17]
  • Individual acts are coordinated and evaluated in real time, according to a large number of criteria that are themselves constantly re-evaluated in context. [17]
  • We pass from the Cartesian cogito to cogitamus. [17]

Engineering the Social Bond [21]

The Just: The ethics of Collective Intelligence [23]

  • If our human world has lasted until the present, it is because the just are still with us, because the traditions of hospitality, assistance, openness, care, recognition, and constructiveness are, in the end, more common or stronger than exclusion, indifference, negligence, resentment, and destruction. [25] {Bill Joy: the world doesn't need us}
  • Sodom and Gomorra: But not all cities were destroyed, ad our presence on earth proves that, until now and throughout the world, the "quantity of good" has exceeded the "quantity of evil". [25] {Joy}
  • Evil is everywhere and always visible, while the good (activity of the just) can only be discovered after a detailed, on-the-spot investigation (the angels visit Sodom), or by its indirect effects, the culmination of a painstaking process of reasoning. [25] {these pages have an excellent explanation of the barter between God and Abraham about Sodom and Gomorra.}
  • Hospitality is the act of attaching the individual to a community. In every respect, it is the opposite of exclusion. [26]
  • Why didn't Lot succeed in saving Sodom? Because collective force is required to sustain a community. [27]
  • The just are efficient; they are able to maintain the existence of a community, only when they form a collective intelligence. [27]
  • If the just are able to prevent destruction, it is because the good is closely associated with being, and more importantly, the capacity for being, or strength. And perhaps it is still more closely associated with the increase of strength. [28]
  • If strength is good, power is bad, for it is measured by its capacity to limit strength, by its potential for destruction. [28]
  • Power creates fear. [28]
  • Power is boisterous; it prevents the community from communicating with itself. [28]
  • Power comes into being and sustains itself only by impoverishing the qualities of being around it. [28]
  • The just avoid power. [28]
  • Abraham invented the process of engineering the social bond. [29]

Human Qualities: The Economy of Collective Intelligence. [31]

  • The economy will center, as it does already, on that which can never be fully automated, on that which is irreducible: the production of the social bond, the relational. [31]
  • This implies not only an economy of knowledge, but a more general, human economy, one that comprises the economy of knowledge as one of its subsystems. [31]
  • When global relations and social interactions create a situation in which competition is based on common interest, then competition shifts to the domain of ethics. [32]
  • We are forced to conclude that scarcity is socially manufactured, that poverty and exclusion are organized, even if they are not intentionally promoted. [33]
  • In the economy of the future, capital will be the total individual. [34]
  • Those who manufacture things will become scarcer and scarcer. [34]
  • Information processing skills will no longer be needed. [34]
  • The final frontier will be the human itself, that which can't be automated: the creation of sensible worlds, invention, relation, the continuous recreation of the community. [35]

From the Molar to the Molecular: The Technology of Collective Intelligence [39]

  • Table: The Major Technological Evolutions [41]

Life [42]

  • Natural selection could be considered a technology that life applies to itself. On the human level its effects take place with infinite slowness. [42] {Guszti Eiben: multisexual reproduction can speed it up considerably.}
  • Artificial selection represents the next most important biological technology. Using he same basic processes as natural selection, it innovates by finalizing and accelerating the formation of species. [43]
  • The creation of a species depended on geological (natural selection is measured in thousand-year units), hen historical (artificial selection takes place in several generations) time periods, and is now beginning to take place in real time, immediately (biotechnology is measured in terms of man-months, hardware and dollars). [43]
  • The slogan of contemporary biotechnology could be: gene by gene, molecule by molecule. [43]

Matter [43]

Information [45]

Human Communities [50]

  • In learning to control life, we tend toward finely granulated modes of action, those that are targeted, precise, rapid, economic, qualitative, discrete, calculated and carefully implemented at a specific moment in time, while closely following the continuous evolution of goals and situations. [50]
  • Families, clans, and tribes are organic groups. Nations institutions, religions, large corporations, as well as revolutionary "masses" are organized groups, molar groups, which undergo a process of transcendence or exteriority in forming and maintaining themselves. [51]
  • Finally, self-organized, or molecular groups realize the ideal of direct democracy within very large communities in the process of mutation and deterritorialization. [51]
  • No organic group can exist unless each of its members knows the names of the others. [52]
  • Within a collectivity of this type, individuals obey rules, follow traditions, and respect codes. [52]
  • In systems organized around molecular politics, groups [] attempt to enhance their individual qualities indefinitely. [53]
  • Able to reorganize itself in real time, minimizing delays, deadlines, and friction, the molecular group evolves at room temperature, without sudden change. [53]
  • It [the politics] makes use of every human act, enhances individual qualities. [53]
  • Rather it brings into being an immanent social bond, one that emerges through one-to-many relations. [54]
  • The multiplication of molecular communities assumes the relative decline of media-based communication that is receptive to collective intelligence, a space that becomes increasingly navigable and accessible as molecular technologies become operational and available at low cost. [54]
  • Real-time, large-scale collective intelligence thus requires a sufficient technical infrastructure. [54]
  • Within the human sphere, molecular technologies provide groups and the individual with the instruments for selectively enhancing themselves, quality by quality. [54]
  • Such technologies promote mutual recognition and synergy among anthropic qualities. [54]
  • The members of a molecular community communicate laterally, reciprocally, outside categories and hierarchies, folding and refolding, weaving and reweaving, complicating the great metamorphic fabric of their peaceful cities. [55] {fluidiom}

The Dynamics of Intelligent Cities: A Manifesto for Molecular Politics [57]

  • My approach is a utopian one, based on a form of direct, computer-mediated democracy--a virtual agora--that is more appropriate than current representative systems in helping us cross the turbulent waters of anthropological mutation. [57]

Technology and Politics [58]

  • It is essential that we begin to imagine, experiment with, and actively promote, within this new communications space, organizational structures and decision-making styles that are oriented toward a deepening of our sense of democracy. [59]

Inadequacy of Government Structures [59]

  • The cooperative parallel processing of problems will require the design of intelligent tools for filtering data, navigating within the information stream, and simulating complex systems; tools for lateral communication; and the mutual recognition of individuals and groups on the basis of their activities and skills. [61]
  • It is likely that some of the emerging technologies for the interactive construction and visualization of the spaces of signification will enable us to move in this direction. [61] {fluidiom}

Will the Virtual Agora be Limited to an Elite? [61]

  • It is not unreasonable to assume that in a few years' time the majority of households could also be equipped with terminals (cybergates) that are part of a communications system designed around a many-to-many spatial configuration. [63]
  • Cooperative cyberspace must be designed as a form of public service. [63]

Representative and Direct Democracy [63]

The formation of a Collective Voice [66]

  • Collectivity is not necessarily synonymous with solidity and uniformity. [66]
  • Certain forms of organization enable individuals to differentially participate in a final, complex utterance: Books or articles can be written by several authors; film credits can include everyone's contribution to the production, so can plays, newspapers, etc. [67]
  • To be completely free, however, the voice of the community should hang on its breath; it should flow ceaselessly and renew itself in real time. [67]
  • For individuals, this [real time democracy] is especially difficult because each of them is at the same time called upon to (1) listen to the other members of the chorus, (2) sing slightly out of register, and (3) find a point of harmonious coexistence between his own voice and that of the others, that is, improve the overall effect of the ensemble. [67]
  • Singers must therefore resist three "harmful attractors": the desire the voice of their neighbors by singing too loudly, the urge to remain silent, and the tendency to sing in unison. [68]
  • This mediation could be immanent rather than transcendent. [68]

Dynamic of the Intelligent City [69]

  • From a political perspective, the major phases in the dynamic of collective intelligence are listening, expression, decision-making, evaluation, organization, connection, and vision, all of which are interrelated. [70]
  • The term "listening" is preferable to communication because it evokes emptiness of a vacuum rather than the fullness of a channel. [71]
  • Listening reverses the direction of the media. [71]
  • Real time democracy maximizes the responsibility of the citizen called upon to make decisions, accept the consequences of those decisions, and make judgments on the basis of those decisions. [73]
  • Organization follows from the actions that precede it. [73]
  • The assignment of responsibilities and resources, it is to be efficient, that is, capable of stimulating processes rather than simply strengthening territorial space, must of necessity be part of a continuous cycle of listening, expression, decision-making, and evaluation. [73]
  • A basic phase in the cycle of collective intelligence, the organization becomes a self-organization, or rather, it appears as the organizing moment of a more universal self-organization. [74]
  • In the context of the intelligent city, organization cannot be conceived without its disorganizing complement: the lateral connection. [74]
  • Vision […] should rather be seen as an act of seeing, the flowering of a collective vision, a vision of the self in the process of becoming. [75]
  • This vision is the product of our previous acts: listening, expression decision, evaluation, organization, connection. [75]
  • This vision does not come from above; it is not the act of an organ distinct from collective intelligence. [75]
  • It [this vision] emerges from interactions and contacts, circulation, encounters. [75]
  • Appropriately distributed, global vision is reflected and diffracted in individual projects and strategies, orients and polarizes molecular processes. [76]
  • Vision is the emerging and global aspect of listening. [76]

Real-time democracy [76]

  • In contrast, real time democracy initiates a period of decision-making and continuous evaluation, during which a responsible community knows that it will eventually be confronted with the results of its current decisions. [80]
  • Collective intelligence has no relationship to the stupidity of crowd behavior. Panic, collective enthusiasm, etc. are the result of the epidemic propagation of emotion and representation among masses of isolated individuals. [81]

Totalitarism and the Economy of Human Qualities [82]

  • Doesn't this real time democracy mask a new form of totalitarism? … Big brother is watching you?
  • But real time democracy is organized not around the vision of power over a society (totalitarism), not around the spectacle of power (the media), but the communication of the community with itself, knowledge of the community's self. [82]

Power and strength [87]

  • Strength makes things possible; power serves to hinder. [87]
  • Strength can liberate, power subordinates. [87]
  • Strength accumulates energy; power squanders it. [87]
  • Power results in loss. [89]
  • A shift has occurred, therefore, from democracy (from the Greek démos, people, and cratein, to command) to a state of demodynamics (Greek dunamis force, strength). [88] It comes into being from the cycle of listening, expression, evaluation, organization, lateral connection, and emerging vision. It encourages real time regulation, continuous cooperative apprenticeship, optimal enhancement of human qualities and the exaltation of singularity. [88]
  • Demodynamics does not imply a sovereign people, one that is reified, fetishized, attached to a territory, identified by soil or blood, but a strong people, one perpetually engaged in the process of self-knowing and self-creation, a people in labor, a people yet to come. [89]

Choreography of Angelic Bodies: The Atheology of Collective Intelligence [91]

  • …introducing some medieval theological notions of collective intelligence and imagination. [91]

The Farbian Tradition [92]

  • This "collective consciousness" was referred to as the agent intellect by these Aristotelian mystics because it was an ever active intelligence, one that constantly contemplated true ideas and enabled human intelligences to become active (and therefore effective) by directing toward them all the ideas that it perceived or contemplated. [92]
  • This shared intellect links men to God, a God who is fundamentally conceived as self-reflexive thought, a knowing divinity and form of knowledge rather than an all-powerful deity, a pure intelligence for whom creativity is only an afterthought. [92]
  • Following Aristotle, Farbian theology was less concerned with the power or strength of God than with His enigmatic manner of thinking, His eternal self-contemplation. [93]
  • God is not infinitely more than we are (more powerful, wiser, more just, etc.), but radically different: an absolute unit of thought engaged in self-reflective thinking. [94]

The Agent Intellect [94]

  • In the theology of Al-F√£r√£bî and Avicenna, God does not create the world through some special act of will, there is no "coup d'état within eternity" but a series of necessary and eternal consequences of the act of self-reflective divine thought. [94]
  • The world emanates from God as an afterthought because of the overabundance of His intelligence, according to an immaterial causality that the neo-Platonic philosophers referred to as procession or emanation. [94]
  • Through God's contemplation of His own thought emanates the First Separate Intelligence, or First Cherub. [94]
  • It is referred to as a separate Intelligence to emphasize the fact that is "pure" and not attached to any physical entity. [94]
  • This First Separate Intelligence is engaged in three distinct forms of contemplation from which three consequences follow. [94]
  • First, it contemplates the principle that is the cause of its necessary existence, which is God. Through this First Intelligence's contemplation of God's thought, a Second Separate Intelligence emanates. [94]
  • Second, the First Intelligence contemplates itself as a necessary emanation of God. From this contemplation arises the soul that drives the First Heaven. [94]
  • Third, the First Intelligence contemplates the possibility of its existence in itself, independent of the principle from which it emanates. From this third contemplation, which is the darkest, the lowest, the body of the First Heaven emanates. [94]
  • In its turn the Second Intelligence, or Second Cherub, (1) contemplates its principle, which is the First Intelligence; (2) contemplates itself as emanation from the First Intelligence; and (3) contemplates itself independent of its principle. [95]
  • From these contemplations arise (1) the Third Intelligence; (2) the soul that drives the Second Heaven; and (3) the ethereal body of the Second Heaven. [95]
  • This process continues through the Tenth Separate Intelligence. [95]
  • The motive souls, or celestial angels, are characterized by imagination, a pure imagination independent of the senses, which enables them to represent themselves and desire the Intelligence from which they proceed. [95]
  • The love of the celestial angels sets the heavens in motion (from which the expression motive soul), a motion that is eternal since these souls never achieve the Intelligences they desire. [95]
  • Thee divine influx, from which the cherubim, angels, and heavens arise, ends by exhausting itself. [95]
  • The process of emanation culminates with the Tenth Separate Intelligence, or agent intellect. [95]
  • This agent intellect is also referred to as "the Angel". [95]
  • When used without any other modifier, the definite article indicates the angel of knowledge and revelation, the angel who intercedes directly with humanity. [95]
  • Through the Angle's contemplation of itself, independent of its principle, emanates not the rarefied body of a heaven but the distribution, explosion, and opacity of sub lunar matter, the coarse substance of our base world. [95]
  • Through the Angel's contemplation of itself as a product of the Ninth Intelligence emanates not the motive soul of a sphere, a celestial angel, but the multitude of human souls whose thick sensual imagination moves the material bodies. [95]
  • Finally, the most eminent form of thought accessible to the Tenth Separate Intelligence is obviously the contemplation of its principle (the Ninth Intelligence). [96]
  • From this contemplation emanate all the forms of terrestrial bodies as well as the ideas of forms of knowledge present in those human souls disposed to receive them. [96]
  • The agent intellect is the irradiating source of all the forms and ideas of the sub lunar world we inhabit. [96]
  • Humans are always potential intelligences but they can only act (that is, following Aristotelian terminology, become truly intelligent and knowing) when they are illuminated by the Angel. [96]
  • Intelligible forms stream from the agent intellect, and when they reach suitably receptive souls, they enable the transition from potential (possible) to active knowledge (real). [96]
  • We are thus actively intelligent only because of the agent intellect, shared by all humanity, which is a kind of "collective consciousness". [96]
  • For mankind, the greatest happiness is obviously its unity with the agent intellect, the ability to fully and completely capture the angelic emission. [96]
  • But the process of emanation doesn't end here. The divine influx is received by our rational faculty with varying degrees of intensity. [96]
  • Some individuals receive a superabundance of ideas from the agent intellect. [96]
  • Ideas percolate through their rational faculty toward their spiritual imagination, and they redistribute what they have received by prophesying to other men and women. [96]
  • It is from this prophetic source that knowledge continues to expand "horizontally", from human soul to human soul, until the initial influx is exhausted. [96]
  • Those who lack the gift of prophecy but yet receive the illumination of forms with sufficient strength become teachers, writers, and legislators, by power of reason alone, transmitting in their turn, from one to another, this knowledge of divine origin. [96]
  • Like the prophet, they serve as retransmitters. [96]
  • Others do not receive ideas from the agent intellect with sufficient force to distribute their knowledge, but have enough for their individual perfection. [96]
  • Yet others, like a television whose antenna is poorly oriented, have arranged their soul in such a manner that the Angel only illuminates them at rare intervals, if at all, and although all humans are potentially intelligent, some are incapable of making this intelligence active. [97]

From Angelic to Virtual Worlds [97]

  • Redefined from a human perspective, the angelic regions open the communications space of communities to themselves without the intervention of the divinity, or any form of transcendent representation for that matter (revealed law, authority, or other a priori forms imposed from above). [97]
  • Virtual worlds will be instruments of self-knowledge and self-definition for humanity, which can then form itself into autonomous and autopoietic collective intellects. [98]
  • In place of the ubiquitous agoras and cosmic simulations, these immanent heavens provide cinemaps, dynamic descriptions of the world below, moving images of the events and situations into which human communities are plunged. [98] {fluidiom}
  • They are home to the "angelic bodies" (or virtual images) of the members of collective intellects--whether individuals or groups--impelling them toward self-awareness and mutual contact. [98]
  • Synthesizing the complexity and transformations of the terrestrial world, virtual worlds enable intelligences to communicate with one another and assist individuals and groups navigating collective knowledge. [98]
  • Through these virtual worlds, the world below will continue to proliferate, mutate, and open new pathways of individualization that will, in turn, nurture the "angelic space". [98]
  • The greater the number pf collective intellects with which an individual is involved, the more opportunities he has to diversify his knowledge and desire. [99]
  • Moreover, he is enabled to enrich with his living variety the thinking communities he helps to construct. [99]
  • In each virtual world we traverse, we will clothe different angelic body. [99]
  • Rather than directing upon mankind the intellectual light that descends from God via the heavens and superior angels, the virtual world that serves as agent intellect reflects the light that emanates from human communities. [99]

Enigma and Desire [100]

  • In the context of theological discourse illumination comes from above, and the Angel's, or God's, representative distributes it among mankind. [100]
  • According to our humanist version, the individual who is most capable of accepting the lower world that surrounds him and receiving the teachings (most often and unconscious) of the richness and diversity he has finally mastered. [100]
  • Theology outlined a unidirectional pattern of distribution, one that descends from above before spreading outward with centrifugal force. [101]
  • Anthropology embodies a form of centripetal circulation that rises from below and showers us with a rain that, even as it falls, anticipates future ascensions of newly concentrated knowledge. [101]
  • With the space that emanates from the collective intelligence, I thus encounter the human other, no longer as flesh and blood, as social rank, an owner of things, but as an angel, an active intelligence--active for himself but potential for me. [102]
  • Should he ever agree to expose his face of light, when I discover the angelic body of the other, I will contemplate his life in knowledge or his knowledge of life, the projection of his subjective world upon the immanent heaven of the collective intellect. [102]
  • Because I do not know what he knows, because our becomings differ, he is, within this space, a unique, incomparable figure of desire: His angelic body reveals this to me as enigma and alterity. [102]
  • It is in this way that the other world, or mystery, of theology becomes the world of the other, or enigma, of anthropology. [103]
  • Among the medieval philosophers love rose from the soul toward the superior intelligences. [103]
  • In our humanist system it is by their passage through virtual worlds, by acquiring an angelic body, that souls can best imagine humanity, from which perhaps follows, along with the desire of learning, he growth of friendship among men. [103]
  • When referring to those who cease learning, we no longer speak of ignorance but of closure, a delayed life, a rigidity that is impermeable to the proliferation of strength, a refusal to encounter the other as angel, a fear of enigma and desire. [103]

The Problem of Evil [103]

  • Obscurity and matter, or evil, occur because intelligences contemplate themselves as existing independently of the superior principle from which they emanate. [103]
  • Men forget to turn toward the agent intellect, the separate intelligence neglects the superior intelligences, the First Separate Intelligence contemplates itself without God. [103]
  • What is the cause of evil from the present humanist perspective?
  • Collective intellects may be tempted to consider virtual worlds as realities in themselves, forgetting the living human beings from which they arise and of which the are merely the expression. [103] {team}
  • This is their dark side. [103]
  • Any illusionary autonomization of the figure of the community, any idolatrous fixation on its countenance, ant transcendent becoming of the knowledge space will give rise to evil. [103]
  • In such a case, the question of truth is substituted for the uninterrupted dynamic of learning and exploration. [103]
  • Mystery and terror replace enigma and desire. [103]
  • Exclusion succeeds mutual recognition. [103]
  • And ultimately, forgetfulness of the living and present origin of virtual worlds, their reification, their separation from the innumerable human sources from which they originate will inevitably introduce the obsessive problem of power within a space where it does not belong. [104]
  • We can the pose the following absurd question: Who will control such virtual worlds? This is like asking who will speak in the name of the community within these virtual worlds, when such worlds are precisely the very means of self-organization, self-definition, and autonomous self-construction of the community within the knowledge space. [104]
  • Any assumption of control by a small splinter group, any petrification of living, collective expression, any evolution toward transcendence immediately annihilates the angelic nature of a virtual word, which falls at once into the obscure regions of domination, power, belonging and exclusion. [104]
  • I am aware that many claim that self-organization is impossible; they cannot conceive of a space in which the question of power does not arise, they consider knowledge a territory to be divided up or a network to be controlled. [104]
  • I can only encourage them to continue their explorations in an attempt to enlarge their subjective world. [104]
  • The angels of the living unite to perpetually form and re-form the Angel of the collective, the moving of the radiant body of human knowledge. [104]
  • The Angel does not speak. [104]
  • It is itself the aggregate voice or choral chant that rises from an acting and thinking humanity. [104]

The Intellect, the Intelligible, the Intelligent [104]

  • This implies a relationship to knowledge that will differ from that which exists today, the inauguration of an unmediated communications space, a profound renewal of human relations, both within the context of work and within political life, a reinvention of democracy--all possibilities that are embodied in the ideal of the collective intellect. [105] {fluidiom}
  • The collective intellect is a kind of corporation in which each shareholder supplies as capital his knowledge, experience, and his ability to learn and teach. [105]
  • The intelligent collective neither submits to nor limits individual intelligences, but on the contrary exalts them, fructifies and reinvigorates them. [105]
  • This transpersonal subject is not merely the sum of individual intelligences. [105]
  • Rather, it gives rise to a qualitatively different form of intelligence, which is added to personal intelligences, forming a kind of collective brain, or hypercortex. [105] {fluidiom}
  • As we have seen, according to medieval philosophy, man's intelligence only becomes active intermittently [106]
  • God, however, is eternally active thought because He always realizes, outside time, the perfect unity of the intellect, the intelligible, and intellection. [106]
  • To better understand the difference between divine and human thought, we will first distinguish the three terms: the intelligible, the intellect, and intellection. [106]
  • That which is intelligible are the forms or ideas of things. [106]
  • But to the extent that they inform things, ideas are only potential. [106]
  • They do not become active, or fully become ideas, until they are perceived by an intellect. [106]
  • The intellect is the ability to comprehend or perceive ideas, a characteristic of intelligent beings. [106]
  • As long as it perceives forms, the intellect remains a potential. [106]
  • It only becomes active when it identifies with the ideas that it embraces, by becoming one with them. [106]
  • Intellection is the becoming-idea of the intellect, the movement that realizes the union of the intellect and the intelligible. [106]
  • It is through intellection that the intelligent being passes from potentiality to act, and thus reunites with its essence. [106]
  • In accomplishing this act the intelligent being is united with his intellect and thus, at the same time, with the intelligible form comprised by the intellect. [106]
  • Each time there is an active thought, the intellect, the intelligent, and the intelligible become one and the same. [106]
  • Why is man not always actively intelligent and thus united to his essence? Because mankind's intellect is not in a continual state of operation: It sleeps, dreams, grows tired, sick, etc. [106]
  • It is necessary the he proceed successively from the intellection of one idea to that of another. [107]
  • This inevitably results in discontinuities, breaks, which are exacerbated to the external world. [107]
  • At the moment when our intellect leaps from one perception to another, intellection is interrupted and separated from its own essence. [107]
  • God alone can contemplate a single idea since that idea is the source of all the others. [107]
  • This occurs without any sense of discontinuity because He is that idea. [107]
  • Being incorporeal, God never sleeps, never tires, is never immersed in sensation or passion. [107]
  • As pure idea from which all ideas emanate, He contemplates himself through the motionless movement of endless intellection. [107]
  • He contemplates himself through the motionless movement of endless intellection. [107]
  • His essence is to be eternally intellect, intelligible, and intelligent. [107]
  • While the thought of individuals is discontinuous because they sleep, grow ill, tired, or take vacations, the collective intellect is always alert. [107]
  • When a mind slips into sleep, a hundred others rise up to take its place. [107]
  • Consequently, the virtual world is always illuminated, animated by the flames of living intelligences. [107]
  • By combining thousands of intermittent flickering rays, we obtain a collective light that shines continuously. [107]
  • I could be wrong to compare this process to some simple mental "changing of the guard", a summation of consciousnesses. [107]
  • No, this is the expression of a collective intelligence. [107]
  • For when I sleep, my angel continues to act in the virtual world. [107]
  • My angel. [107]
  • This is the expression I wish to give to y memory, my knowledge, y navigations, my desire to learn, my hierarchy of interests, the relationships I have with the other members of the thinking community. [107]
  • This angel, my digital messenger, helps inform, orient, and continuously evaluate the virtual world, which is itself the expression of all messengers. [108] {gossip}
  • These landscapes will be mapped and divided into interactive spaces by new sign systems, dynamic diagrams and ideograms, moving architectures of images. [108] {fluidiom}
  • Computer hardware and software will make these universes of signification sensible, explorable, and interactive. [108] {fluidiom}
  • Collective intelligence realizes its reintegration. [108]
  • It constructs transpersonal but continuous thought. [108] {fluidiom} {gossip}
  • An anonymous cogitation but one that is perpetually alive, uniformly irrigated, metamorphic. [108] {fluidiom}
  • Through the intermediary of virtual worlds, we can not only exchange information but think together, share our memories and our plans to produce a cooperative brain. [108] {fluidiom}
  • Media continuity is merely physical. [109]
  • It is a necessary but not sufficient condition for intellectual continuity. [109]

The Sensible and the Intelligible [109]

  • Translation from one language or discipline to another, enables disconnected thought spaces to communicate with one another. [109]
  • But conventional writing is by nature a system of static and discontinuous traces. [109]
  • It is an inert body, fragmented, dispersed, ever growing, whose consolidation and animation require of each individual a lengthy process of research, interpretation, and association. [109]
  • To remedy this situation, the virtual worlds of collective intelligence will develop new forms of writing: animated pictograms, cinelanguages that will retain the trace of interactions of their navigators. [109]
  • Collective memory will organize and redeploy itself for each navigator on the basis of his interests and travels in the virtual world. [109] {fluidiom}
  • The new, angelic space of signs will be sensible, active, intelligent, and at the service of explorers. [109] {fluidiom}
  • What is interpretation? [109]
  • The subtle mind attempting to coax the inert body of the letter into graceful motion. [109]
  • The evocation of an author's breath in the presence of dead signs. [109]
  • The dangerous reconstruction of the know of affects and images from which the text arises. [109]
  • But if the signs are alive? [110]
  • If the text-image or thought-space grows, proliferates, and metamorphoses continuously, following the rhythm of the collective intelligence? [110] {fluidiom}
  • If the lead characters make room for the very substance of the angels. [110]
  • If the opaque and gigantic satisfaction of texts effaces itself before a fluid and continuous medium whose explorer always occupies the center. [110] {seems to me this is the essence or definition of fluidiom}
  • As we have shown, every thought, even the most abstract, is based to some extent on the presence of an image. [110]
  • Of course, the image is not used exclusively to improve understanding; it fascinates, seduces, and deceives as well. [110]
  • It is as if the sensible were the prize in confused and inconclusive struggle: instrument of knowledge, playing field for the intelligence, or black hole of the mind? [110]
  • The more the intelligible is understood in terms of the sensible, the more the sign-image increases in scope and complexity, and the shorter becomes the distance between man and God. [111]
  • Stimulating the human mind, the new agent intellect is defined as a machine to make thought visible, to image abstraction and complexity, creating a landscape that our angelic bodies can explore, feel, and modify. [111] {fluidiom}
  • The virtual world makes interconnected relation apparent, enables us to touch the most obscure notions; it illuminates images, makes them comprehensible. [111] {fluidiom}
  • It is the most appropriate environment for the flowering and development of the visual11 languages that will weave together the intelligence, or, rather, the collective imagination. [111] {fluidiom}
  • Within the theological framework man receives his ideas from the outside, whereas God contemplates Himself. [111]
  • It is true that on a human scale, intelligence is the gateway to what is external, perpetual unfulfillment, an effort to reach the outside and that which is not self. [111]
  • When we learn, we enter the world of the other. [111] {just like in fluidiom meme spaces can fly through each other}
  • But while learning, that is, while transforming himself, the thinking subject strives continuously to bring the stranger to him, to transform the other into self, so that foreignness can no longer be grasped in itself and we must again clear a path to the outside. [111]
  • It is at the same time a society of animated signs, a shared organ of perception, cooperative memory, and space for communication and navigation. [112]
  • Just as writing or the telephone did not prevent people from continuing to meet in person, the virtual worlds of collective intellect cannot substitute for direct human contact. [111] {human contact is (still) the only way to perceive genuine human emotions (or body language); also see How the mind works, from Steven Pinker}

The Three Freedoms [113]

  • We know that God is his own cause. But what is a cause? [113]
  • According to Aristotelian philosophy, there are four types of cause: if, for example, we take a vase made by a potter, the clay is its material cause, the potter its efficient cause, the shape initially conceived by the potter its formal cause, and the property of containing liquid its final cause. [113]
  • God obviously has no material cause. [113]
  • As for the rest, God is final, efficient, and formal cause in and of Himself, which is why he is absolutely free. [113]
  • A human being unfortunately does not have this possibility: His parents are his efficient cause, God (or other biological evolution) his formal cause, and he can't always become and end for himself. [113]
  • But since naked and solitary man is unable to do so, why not attempt to form collective intellects capable of achieving such divine freedom? [113] {tower of Babel?}
  • The collective intellect is its own final cause. [113]
  • It has no goal other than to grow, develop, differentiate itself, and propagate the varieties of signs that populate it, the cosmic diversity that it envelops, and the ontological plurality that is its richness and its life. [113]
  • To do so, it must obviously maintain its existence and thus respect certain economic, technical, and other constraints. [113]
  • The collective intellect is as much as possible its own efficient cause. [113]
  • It is born from the will of its members and not from some outside impulse. [113]
  • In a sense, therefore, it must already exist before it can come into being (since it is composed of "its members"). [114]
  • This paradox of creative circularity is inherent in all automatic or autopoietic production. [114]
  • The ability of the collective intellect to become its own formal cause is its greatest achievement, the touchstone of its immanence. [114]
  • I would even say that its final cause is its own existence, that is, its existence as self-cause, in the sense that we have just defined. [114]
  • But if its members succeed in maintaining the autonomy of the collective intellect, each increase in qualitative diversity strengthens the interest of everyone in its continued existence. [115] {team}
  • And the more its members are involved in its permanent re-creation, the more the immanent dynamic of expression will favor the proliferation of ways of being. [115] {increasing returns}
  • Each mode of freedom will be reflected upon the others in a positive spiral. [115] {increasing returns}
  • In this way collective intellect creates a new space. [115]

The Art and Architecture of Cyberspace: The Aesthetics of Collective Intelligence [117]

Cyberspace Under Construction [117]

  • These [knowledge navigators] would include, in no particular order: hypertext, the World Wide Web…neuro-mimetic programs, artificial life, expert systems, etc. [118]
  • While the true "great works" remain to be accomplished within the universe of the digital information and the new sites for the emergence of collective intelligence, we continue to encumber the landscape with cement, glass and steel. [119]
  • We have built pyramids when we are in the process of again becoming nomads, when architecture for a new exodus is needed. [119] {fluidiom}
  • Cyberspace: urban nomad, software engineering, the liquid architecture of the knowledge space. [119] {fluidiom}
  • It brings with it methods of collective perception, feeling, remembrance, working, playing and being. [119] {fluidiom}
  • It is an interior architecture, an unfinished system of intelligence hardware, a gyrating city with its rooftops of signs. [119]
  • The development of cyberspace, the quintessential medium of communication and thought, is one of the principal aesthetic and political challenges of the coming century. [119]

From Design to Implementation [121]

  • With respect to its relationship to future projects, cyberspace will assume the form of cultural attractor, which we can summarize as follows.
  • 1. …messages will now revolve around the individual receiver. [121]
  • 2. The distinction between authors and readers, producers and spectators, creators and interpreters will blend to form a reading-writing continuum, which will extend from machine and network designers to the ultimate recipient, each helping to sustain the activity of the others (dissolution of the signature). [121]
  • 3. The distinction between the message and the work of art, envisaged as a microterritory attributed to an author is fading. [121]
  • Rather than distribute a message to recipients who are outside the process of creation and invited to give meaning to a work of art belatedly, the artist now attempts to construct an environment a system of communication and production, a collective event that implies its recipients, transforms interpreters into actors, enables interpretation to enter the loop with collective action. [123] {fluidiom}
  • Clearly the "open work" prefigures such an arrangement. [123]
  • But the art of implication doesn't constitute a work of art at all, even one that is open or indefinite. [123]
  • It brings forth a process, attempts to open a career to autonomous lives, provides an introduction to the growth and habitation of a world. [123]
  • It places us within a creative cycle, a living environment of which we are already the coauthors. [123]
  • The accent has now shifted from work to progress. [123]
  • Its embodiment is manifested in moments, places, collective dynamic, but no longer in individuals. [123]
  • It is an art without signature. [123]
  • Each of us in our own way, as soon as we express ourselves, produces, reproduces, and alters language. [123]
  • From singular utterances to creative listening, languages emerge and drift along the stream of communication, borne by thousands of voices that call and respond to one another, take risks, provoke and deceive, hurling words, expressions and new accents across the abyss of non-sense. [124]
  • In this way and artist can appropriate an expression inherited from earlier generations and help it evolve. [124]
  • This is one of the primary social functions of art: participation in the continuous invention of the languages and signs of a community. [124]
  • But the creator of language is always a community. [124]

For an Architecture of Deterritorialization [126]

  • The artists who explore such alternatives may be the pathfinders of new architecture of cyberspace, which will undoubtedly become one of the major arts of the twenty-first century. [126] {fluidiom}
  • The new architects could just as easily be engineers, network or interface designers, software programmers, international standards organizations, information lawyers, etc., as individuals with a traditional form of art. [126] {fluidiom}
  • In this field, the most obviously "technical" choices will have considerable political, economic, and cultural impact. [126]
  • To guide the construction of cyberspace, to help us choose among the different possible orientations or even imagine new ones, some criteria of ethical and political selection are needed, an organizing vision. [126]
  • Means that contribute to the production of a collective intelligence or imagination should be encouraged. [126]
  • In keeping with this general principal, I would suggest that we concentrate on the following: [126]
  • 1. Instruments that promote the development of the social bond through apprenticeship and the exchange of knowledge. [127]
  • 2. Methods of communication that are predisposed to acknowledge, integrate, and restore diversity rather than simply reproduce traditional media-driven forms of distribution. [127]
  • 3. Systems that promote the emergence of autonomous beings, regardless of the nature of the systems (pedagogical, artistic, etc.) or the beings involved (individuals, groups, works of art, artificial creatures). [127]
  • 4. Semiotic engineering that will enable us to exploit and enhance, for the benefit of the greatest number, the veins of data, the capital of skills, and symbolic power accumulated by humanity. [127]
  • technicians have a great deal to learn from humanists in this area. [127]

The Knowledge Space [128]

The Four Spaces

The Earth [131]

  • The earth is not a planet, not even a biosphere, but a cosmos in which humanity communicates with animals, plants, landscapes, locales and spirits.
  • The earth is the spaces in which mankind, the stones, vegetables, beasts, and gods meet, talk, come together, and separate in a process of unending re-creation. [132]
  • Mankind does not live within a niche, as a dog does, because it can gaze at the stars, invent the gods that fashioned it, adopt eagles and leopards as its ancestors, and live among its signs, its tales, and its deeds. [132]
  • Man is the only animal that lives in the cosmos that does not simply belong to a species but chooses its totems. [132]
  • Humanity is the species dedicated to the earth, to the cosmos of animals and plants in communication, to the chaosmos of metamorphoses. [132]

Territory [133]

  • For the past twelve thousand years, a second anthropological space, the territorial space, has been spreading across the earth in ever expanding sheets, isolated patches that have slowly come together over the centuries. [133]
  • With the earth, the territory establishes a predatory and destructive relationship; it dominates, confines, encloses, inscribes, and measures it. [134]

The Commodity Space [135]

  • Or did the commodity space come into being in the eighteenth century, amid the smoke of the industrial revolutions? [135]
  • This was not the customary space of exchange or commerce, but a new world built from the incessant circulation of money in an ever tightening, ever quickening loop. [135]
  • But in the wake of an extraordinary historical conjunction, a collective revery or desire that was already beginning to escape territorial sp ace, in search of another space, other velocities. [135]
  • This new world succeeded in enlarging itself, living off its own life. [136]
  • Crossing borders, upsetting territorial hierarchies, the dance of money brought its wake an accelerated movement, a rising tides of objects, signs, and individuals. [136]
  • The commodity space was smoothed out, maintained, and enlarged by a deterritorializing machine, which suddenly sprang into being, feeding on everything in its path. [136]
  • Just as King Midas transformed whatever he touched into gold, capitalism transmutes into merchandise everything it draws into its orbit. [136]
  • When the commodity space assumes its autonomy within the territory, it doesn't simply abolish the preceding spaces, but subordinates them, organizes them in terms of its own objectives. [137]
  • Capitalism is deterritorializing and, for the past three centuries, industry and commerce have been the principal engines driving the evolution of human societies. [137]
  • Capitalism is irreversible. [137]
  • It is economy and has made economy the permanent dimension of human existence. [137]
  • There will always be a commodity space, as there will always be an earth and territorial space. [137]
  • Weaving back and forth in its dizzying ascension, the mantle of commodity, the sky of contemporary humanity, tears open to reveal another space. [138]

The Knowledge Space [138]

  • The knowledge space doesn't exist. [138]
  • Etymologically, it is a u-topia, no-place. [138]
  • It is embodied nowhere. [138]
  • But it is not realized, it is already virtual, waiting to be born. [138]
  • It emerges is patches, traces, just below the surface. [138]
  • It flickers even before it has had a chance to develop its own autonomy, its irreversibility. [138]
  • This crystallization of a free knowledge space, the creation of a new anthropological dimension, the passage from a point of no return, may never take place. [138]
  • What is knowledge? [139]
  • Each time a human being organizes or reorganizes his relationship to himself or his peers, to things, signs, or the cosmos, he is engaged in a form of knowledge, apprenticeship. [139]
  • Knowledge, in the sense I am using he term, is a knowledge of living, a living-in-knowledge, one that is coextensive with life. [139]
  • It is part of a cosmopolitan and borderless space of relations and qualities, a space for the metamorphosis of relationships and the emergence of ways of being, a space in which the processes of individual and collective subjectivization come together. [139]
  • The knowledge space is the plane of composition, recomposition, communication, and singularization, where thought triggers thought in a continual process. [139]
  • The knowledge space has always existed. [139]
  • Noolithic: stone age of the mind. The stone is no longer silex but the silicon of microprocessors and fiber optic cable. [140]
  • This fourth anthropological space, should it come into fruition, will harbor forms of self-organization and sociability that tend toward the production of subjectivity. [141]
  • The intention of collective intellect is not to destroy the earth, or the territory, or the market economy. [141]
  • On the contrary, the long-term existence of the first three spaces--survival--is without doubt conditioned by the resurgence of a new plane of existence for humanity. [141]

Anthropological Space [143]

The Multiple Spaces of Signification [143]

  • Our interactions produce, transform and continuously develop heterogeneous and interlinked spaces. [143]
  • A simple conversation could be seen as the shared construction of a virtual space of significance, which each speaker attempts to shape according to his mood and intentions. [143]
  • These plastic spaces, [143]
  • Lived spaces are relativistic. [143]
  • They bend and shape themselves around objects they contain and which organize them. [143]
  • The extent to which people, images, words and concepts are capable of structuring a space of signification depends on the affective force associated with them. [143]
  • Evanescent spaces, like small bubbles that are form when two people meet and then disappear [143]
  • We recognize the importance of a event within the intellectual, technical, social, or historical sphere by its ability to reorganize the proximities and distances in a given space, its ability to create new space-times(s), new proximity systems. [144]
  • Human beings do not inhabit only a physical or geometric space, they simultaneously live in emotional, aesthetic, social, and historical spaces, spaces of signification in general. [144]
  • The people standing around me on the subway are more distant, within affective space, than my daughter or father, who are three hundred miles away. [144]
  • We live in thousands of different spaces, each with its own system of proximity (temporal, emotional, linguistic, etc.), such that a given entity can be near us in one space, yet quite distant in another. [144]
  • Each space has its own axiology, its own system of values for measurement. [144]
  • We spend our time modifying and improving the spaces in which we live, in connecting and separating them, articulating and solidifying them, introducing new objects, displacing the forces that structure them, jumping from one space to another. [145]

Anthropological Spaces are Structuring, Living, Autonomous, and Irreversible [145]

  • The knowledge space didn't begin to shape itself with any degree of consistency until the twentieth century. [146]
  • It is not some kind of abstract container for all possible knowledge. [146]
  • On the contrary, it harbors a specific kind of knowledge and reorganizes, hierarchizes, and submerges within the active environment it comprises, modes of knowledge from the other anthropological spaces. [146]

Anthropological Spaces are Planes of Existence, Contingent and Eternal Velocities [147]

  • Languages and narratives on earth, fields and clay tablets for the territory, printed matter and machines in the commodity space, digital networks, virtual universes, and artificial life in the knowledge space. [147]
  • Anthropological spaces in themselves are neither infrastructures nor superstructures but planes of existence, frequencies, velocities, determined within the social spectrum. [147]
  • Suddenly, humanity finds itself moving at a greater speed. [147]
  • And this new speed brings a new space into being. [147]
  • The earth provides the fundamental frequency. [147]
  • The first space corresponds to the introduction of velocities exceeding those of animal life: the velocity of language, technology, and culture. [147]
  • The territorial space introduces the first velocity perceptible at the individual level, that of writing and empire, bureaucracy and borders: torpor, the extended time of the territory. [148]
  • With capitalism comes acceleration. [148]
  • The knowledge space itself develops within the limits of real time, on the other side of "live". [148]
  • These four velocities, these four frequencies, coexist. [148]
  • And although the knowledge spaces appears along the horizon of thousands of projects, thousands of currents of contemporary society, although its formation is in my opinion eminently desirable, it may never achieve autonomy. [148]
  • Thus the anthropological spaces are contingent. [148]
  • And yet, once they take shape, even virtually, they become eternal, timeless, as if they had always already been there. [148]
  • Is economy as a discipline anything more that the flattened, analytic form of the eternity of capital? [149]
  • Humanity crosses the four spaces with its entire being: walking, its feet strike the great earth of myth, its hair rising to the cosmos and the gods; sitting, composed, it is inscribed on the territory; its arms work the commodity space, eyes and ears devouring the signs of the spectacle; its head represents the knowledge space, a brain connected to other brains, secreting the virtual worlds of collective intellect, wandering, navigating, re-creating a thousand other earths upon the pluralized sphere of artifice. [149] {fluidiom: data mining man work of art}
  • Anthropological cartography is a checklist, a substrate of memory, a tool to help deploy every dimension of a being or process. [150]
  • To gain some idea of the complexity involved in such an undertaking, imagine a notebook containing four pages (each page corresponding to an anthropological space) that have been torn, crumpled and rolled into a ball. Now suppose that a needle (representing the phenomenon to be mapped according to our projection system) is stuck into this ball of paper. The needle will pierce the same space several times. Each new needle stuck in the ball will intersect the four spaces differently, both in terms of the order and the number of times it enters them. [150]
  • Shredded, torn, crumpled, pierced with hoe, inextricably folded within one another, earth, the territory, capital, and the virtual space of knowledge coexist everywhere differently. [150]

Identity [151]

  • Each space corresponds to a separate identity, a style of desire, a physical structure. [151]
  • There are terrestrial and territorial affects, commodity and knowledge affects. [151]

Microcosm, Micropolis, and the Small House [151]

  • On earth, names, tattoos, blazons, totems, and masks are all signs that signify identity. [151]
  • The definition of an individual by his participation in the clan, the blood line, the very ancient system of descendance and alliance, dates from the period of the great prehistoric earth. [151]
  • The being is formed by a network of cosmic relations that define him and determine his status. [151]
  • Exteriority becomes interiority: situated in the universe, the individual is a microcosm, an echo, a reflection of the whole. [151]
  • Each part of his body, each movement of his soul, reflects events or places that exist in the world. [152]
  • The Neolithic revolution provided a means by which individuals were attached to the soil and their existence recorded by the state, a mechanism that exists to this day. [152]
  • Our relationship to territory, notably by means of landed property and its multiple avatars, defines the place of the individual in society, his identity. [152]
  • But territorial identity is not limited to geography alone. [152]
  • It involves position and rank in institutions, castes, hierarchies, civil service corps (teachers, mining engineers), orders (doctors, architects, the nobility or clergy), disciplines (paleontology, sociology), everything that organizes a space in terms of borders, ranks and levels. [152]
  • The identity provided by a diploma, for example, combining both rank and discipline, is obviously a component of the territory and not the knowledge space. [152]
  • The psychology of the territory is a hypostasized image of the social order. [153]
  • The commodity space deterritorializes and destructures the older frameworks of sociability and identity. [153]
  • Individuals are redefined according to their role in the fabrication, circulation, and consumption of goods, information, and images. [153]
  • Within the commodity space the signs of identity are quantified: income, salary, bank accounts, "external signs of wealth". [153]
  • We could say, to use an outdated terminology that identity depends on where we fall within the system of production and our position within the circuits of consumption and exchange. [153]
  • In a world dominated by economy, the individual is no longer a microcosm or a micropolis, but a micro o√Økos. [153]
  • The word "economy" is derived, by way of Latin, from the Greek o√Økos, house, and nomia, administration. [153]
  • Identity is constructed through the relationship between parents and children, by means of an Oedipal triangulation. [153]

Toward a Sapient Identity, or Polycosmos [154]

  • The emergence of a reality organized around knowledge can provoke a profound crisis of identity in which the older principles of self-orientation and identification in terms of a community lose their effectiveness. [154]
  • What concepts, what methods are needed to reveal the knowledge space, and, at the same time, our individual identity within it? [154]
  • One possible direction is suggested by the cosmopedia2 and the use of knowledge trees3. [154]
  • Collective intellects emerge, interconnect, move, and change. [154]
  • It is through the circulation, association, and metamorphosis of thinking communities that the knowledge space is born and perpetuated. [154]
  • Each collective intellect harbors a virtual world that expresses the relations it maintains, the problems that activate it, the images it shapes from its environment, its memory, its knowledge in general. [154]
  • Members of the collective intellect coproduce, develop, and continuously modify the virtual world that expresses their community: the collective intellect is always learning, always inventing. [154]
  • A video game plunges the player into an imaginary territory, while the virtual world of collective intellect serves as a map, an instrument of location and orientation that refers to a real space, the most intensely real space we currently have, the space of living knowledge. [155]
  • Since he participates in more that one collective intellect, he creates several knowledge blazons. [156] [The blazon is the image of an individual's apprenticeship (curriculum) as it appears on the knowledge tree of a community. See Les Arbres de connaisances, op. cit.)
  • On earth, man is a micro cosmos, within territorial space, he is a micro polis, within commodity space, he has become a micro o√Økos, a small house, and within knowledge space, humanity is eve more restricted: He is nothing more than a brain. [156]
  • Even his body becomes a cognitive system. [156]
  • But the brain shapes itself collectively, makes contact with other brains, with systems of signs, language and intellectual technologies, it participates in thinking communities that explore and create multiple worlds. [156]
  • Thus the brain of Homo sapiens sapiens turns in upon itself, unveils its obverse and transforms itself into a polycosm. [156] {fluidiom}
  • Within the knowledge space, humanity becomes nomadic once again, pluralizes its identity, explores heterogeneous worlds, is itself heterogeneous and multiple, in the process of becoming, thinking. [156]

Quantum Identities [156]

  • Is there a quantum mechanics of freedom? [157]
  • Can we measure subjectivity? [157]
  • The quanta of human qualities will be signs, and nothing more than signs. [157]
  • Technically, the individual will be able to express himself by distributing dynamic ideograms throughout an indefinite number of virtual worlds. [160] {fluidiom}
  • The economy of human qualities must provide an alternative to subjectivization by inclusion. [160]
  • It can do this by allowing individuals to freely project an unlimited number of images of themselves throughout an unrestricted variety of collective spaces. [160]
  • Thus each one of us will be able to invent our identities (our dances, our roles) by sharing in the construction of a large number of communities (balls, plays). [160]
  • The individual becomes a molecular vector of collective intelligence, multiplying his active surfaces, complicating his interfaces, circulating among different communities, simultaneously enriching both his own identity and theirs. [160]

Coexistence of the Four Identities [160]

  • Each of us possesses four types of identity, even though the first may be forgotten, even though the last has yet to make its appearance. [160]
  • We are born and grow up within all four spaces simultaneously. [160]
  • Our birth is not simply territorial (an entry in a list of records) and familial. [160]
  • We are also born by and for the earth, and through our birth we inaugurate a cosmic existence. [160]
  • But it is clear that the solutions to a number of our contemporary psychological, social, and cultural problems will be found in the discovery or rediscovery of other spaces. [161]
  • We must learn to displace our identities, our affects, our vital forces toward the earth, rediscover our relationship to the cosmos. [161] {Joy}
  • An identity made whole will cross the four spaces. [161]

Semiotics [163]

Semiotics of the Earth: Presence [163]

  • On earth the universe of signification reflects the reign of power and presence. [164]
  • Along the uniform space of the great nomadic earth, beings signs, and things interconnect as rhizomes, exchange places, weave an unbroken canvas of meaning. [164] {fluidiom}
  • This is the semiotic environment of primitives, animists, preliterate cultures, and very young children, characteristic of the unconscious and "primary processes". [164]

The Semiotic of Territory: Division [164]

  • The separations and borders that divide territory insinuate themselves into the very heart of the relations of signification: Semiotic division becomes institutionalized. [165]

The Semiotic of Merchandise: Illusion [166]

  • Within the commodity space, it is no longer only speech that is cut off from life. [166]
  • Scenes and faces, landscapes and music, rites and spectacles, events of all kinds are indefinitely reproduced and distributed through books, newspapers, photographs, records, film, radio, tapes, and television, cut off from their context of emergence. [166]
  • Multiplies by the media swept along thousands of pathways and channels, the sign becomes deterritorialized. [166]
  • The great sign mall, the spectacle, thus becomes a kind of superreality through which every utterance, every image has to pass before it can become effective. [167]
  • The sign's passage through media channels dethrones representation. "As seen on television" [167]

The Knowledge Space: Semiotic Productivity [168]

  • The semiotic of the knowledge space is defined by the return of being, of real and living existence within the sphere of signification. [168]
  • This escape from the world of absence, this resumption of contact with reality should obviously not be understood as a process of objectivization or relation tied to a given signified, a guaranty of signs by means of transcendence. [168]
  • The art of the future will no longer force signs but post-media methods of communication. [169] {fluidiom}
  • Coupled to sensorimotor, plastic, interactive, and multidimensional control systems, the images escapes the destiny of fascination traced for it by merchandise and becomes an instrument of watchfulness, knowledge, and invention more powerful than text. [170] {fluidiom}

Figures of Space and Time [173]

Earth: Immemorial Footprints [173]

  • The earth is mankind's memory, its landscape the map of mankind's epics, the storehouse of his knowledge. [173]

Territory: Closure, Inscription, History [174]

  • Every time we build something, in the sense of engineering and architecture, in the sense of building for the long term we extend the empire of the territory. [174]
  • Customs, counters, gates, locks constantly reestablish what is in and what is out. [176]
  • Among the scribes, exams and competitions create barriers around knowledge. [176]
  • There is a before and after only because there is an inside and an outside. [177]

Commodity: Circuits, Real-Time [177]

  • The commodity space lives entirely within its circuits: on the highway or train, not on the landscape we cross, in the airplane, not in the village near the airport. [178]
  • The individual links of the network continue to circulate in other networks: the television in our pocket, the headphones on our ears, the laptop in its case, the portable fax machine, the mobile phone. [178]
  • Objects in motion within objects in motion combine their velocities, exchange messages, intersect a moving, realistic space, in which everything moves in relation to everything else, where distance means nothing and speed everything. [178]
  • On the horizon of acceleration, in the eye of the hurricane of speed, real time, motionless, drives the space-time of commodity. [179]
  • Real time is the reality of commodity time, its entelechy, its ideal: a time that is no longer sequential but parallel, no longer linear but instantaneous, the time of simultaneity, the limit of acceleration. [179]
  • The most advanced form of real time occurs within organizations. [179]
  • From flexible manufacturing systems to groupware, digital networks have brought about the dematerialization of organizational structure. [179]
  • The ultimate deterritorialization: organization charts, production procedures, and administrative architectures are transferred to software and thereby mobilized and tamed. [179]
  • The virtual enterprise adapts in real time tot the transformation of the market. [179]
  • In this sense it is similar to the knowledge space. [179]
  • But we can't get there by simply going faster. We need some sort of quantitative leap. [179]
  • Different velocities, different intensities will animate intellects. [179]

Knowledge: Subjective Time, Interior Space [179]

  • The knowledge space annuls deferral by changing the reference system: It is nourished in internal time. [180]
  • In the concept of the knowledge tree6, for example, it is the curricula of individual apprenticeship that structure the knowledge tree of the community. [181]
  • Yet these curricula are not synchronized with calendar time; the dates on which we obtain our diplomas are not shown. [181]
  • An individual's cognitive blazons, projections of their curricula on the tree, no longer record a sequence of personal achievement, but individual abilities in an emerging collective order, that of the community tree, and thus enables individuals to orient themselves in terms of a specific situation, a context shared by all the other members of the collective intellect. [181]

The Emerging Knowledge Space [182]

  • The collective intellect reverses the relationship between time and space that had been established by the territory. [182]
  • The collective intellect, however, acts against the grain of territory since it transforms time into space. [182]
  • The territory attempts to maintain borders, hierarchies, and structures. [183]
  • The knowledge space on the other hand is always in an emergent state. [183]
  • It is never structures a priori, but expresses, maps, makes visible the strands of subjective and necessary unforeseeable durations. [183] {see book for suggestions of appropriate brand names for accompanying software to be developed}
  • The communities of intelligence flee the territory, escape the network of commodity for a knowledge space that they produce by thinking, dreaming, and wandering. [183]

Navigational Instruments [185]

Earth: Narratives, Portolans, Algorithms [185]

  • The compass is a terrestrial device. [186]
  • On earth, the principal instrument of knowledge is the narrative. [186]
  • The abstract structure of the story is the algorithm: the description of a series of actions that occur in a certain order from a starting point to an end point. [186]

Territory: Projection Systems [187]

  • Based on the time, the day, the astronomical tables, he could determine latitude. This is referred to as taking one's bearings. [187]
  • This bearing is no longer an individual point, a landmark, a sign, a color of the water, a whirlpool, a mark on the earth-sea, but an abstract point, the projection on the surface of the earth of celestial coordinates. [187]
  • A position in territorial space. [187]
  • Each point on the map would now be indexed to the sky, pinned in place by the sphere of fixed stars. [188]
  • In the new space the earth is divided up, enclosed in a net that falls from the heavens. [188]
  • Each point is assigned a set of coordinates, an address, even though it remains unnamed. [188]
  • The nomadic earth immobilized by the sky. [189]

Commodity: Statistics and Probabilities [189]

  • In the commodity space there is no longer any possibility of fixing positions--beings, signs, or things--within a system. [189]
  • Everything is in circulation; everything is in a stat of continuous flux. [189]
  • They [the statistics] were used to draw up the moving maps of the commodity space. [189]
  • But indispensable as these instruments are, in the absence of other means of orientation in the commodity space, they quickly reveal their drawbacks. [190]
  • Individualities are no longer fixed by a system, as territorial space, but lumped together in a single mass. [190]
  • The statistical profile masks individual features. [190]
  • Processes are equated with molar equilibria, with states. [190]
  • Qualities are reduced to quantities. [190]

Knowledge: Cinemaps [190] {fluidiom}

  • Yet knowledge is born, runs, and dies at an even faster pace than commodities. [190]
  • The main problem in the knowledge space is to organize the organizing, objectivize the subjectivizing. [190]
  • Knowledge about knowledge is based on an essential circularity, one that is primordial, ineluctable. [190]
  • Our understanding of understanding is ipso facto a transformation of knowledge, a perpetual deviation, a dynamic reorientation that is continuously reactivated and reevaluated. [190]
  • The cartography of knowledge space cannot be based on statistics, which are purely quantitative. [191]
  • Together wit Michel Authier, I have suggested a new type of orientation and navigation, especially designed for the knowledge space, which we refer to as a cinemap. [191] {fluidiom}
  • A collective intellect navigates within a moving informational universe: A cinemap is the product of this interaction. [191] {fluidiom}
  • Each object or group of objects in the universe under construction can be visualized on the cinemap. [191]
  • We can measure the distances between these objects, or between an object and an attribute it doesn't yet possess, for example. [191]
  • But since the cinemap expresses the relations among informational objects, it evolves and restructures itself at the same time as the actors modify themselves and new actors and new attributes appear. [192]
  • Each member of the collective intellect can find his individual location on the cinemap. [192]
  • In this case two possibilities present themselves. [192]
  • In the first case the informational universe models the collective intellect itself, the diversity of its attributes, its behavior. [192]
  • Here the individual is one of the object-actors who help structure the cinemap. [192]
  • Obviously the individual can find his position on the map. [192]
  • He is indexed by a constellation of icons. [192]
  • His signature appears on the cinemap of the collective. [192]
  • In the second, the object-actors of the informational universe do not model the members of the collective intellect but other data. [192]
  • Here, individuals are still recorded on the cinemap according to their preferences, their interests, their relationship to the objects of the informational universe. [192]
  • Their position on the cinemap, indirectly assigned this time, can again be visualized by a distribution of attributes, a configuration of sign-points. [192]
  • By using a cinemap a group can shape itself into a collective intellect. [193]
  • 2001: the Odyssey of Knowledge. [193]

Objects of Knowledge [195]

  • Within each anthropological space {aspace}, the most important objects of knowledge are the figures specific to that space. [195]

The Object of Earth: The Eternal Becoming-Beginning [195]

  • On earth the object of the story is an origin. [195]
  • But its stories are transmitted, perpetuated, related in cycles, varied. [195]

The Object of Territory: Geometry [196]

  • The object of the territory is the measured earth, divided into sectors: geo-metry. [196]

The Commodity Object: Flux, Fire, Crowds [197]

  • The characteristic object of the third space is obviously the production and consumption of commodities. [197]
  • Economy is in some sense the geometry or cartography of the space opened up by generalized commodity exchange. [197]
  • The objects of the commodity space are not only those of economy, but also everything that is distributed, flows, circulates, is transformed and perishes, everything that feeds its machinery and streams through its channels. [197] {fluidiom}
  • It was in response to this sense of movement and exchange that thermodynamics, the science of the transformation of energy, was born in the nineteenth century, amidst the fire and steam of the industrial revolution. [197]
  • For both the mathematical theory of information and cybernetics, the quantity of information carried by a message is inversely proportional to the probability of appearance of that message3 {Shannon}. [198]
  • According to this definition, the quantity of information will be maximized if the message is completely random--which obviously clashes with common sense--and the quantity of information will approach zero if the message is highly redundant, if it contributes little to reducing our uncertainty about the state of the reference universe. [198]
  • The information that is "sensed" is thus situated, the majority of the time, "between crystal and smoke", that is, between redundant order and chaos. [198]
  • Information is apprehended by means of the mathematical instruments created by thermodynamics, ultimately, statistics and probability. [198]
  • Much has been written about the analogy between noise in information theory, which corrodes, disorganizes, and punctures messages, and entropy in thermodynamics, which blurs distinctions and minimizes tension. [198] {fluidiom & tensegrity}
  • Since noise not only destroys messages but also creates new information, the transition between energy and information provides the key to reversing organizational disorder, one of the mechanisms of self-organization. [198] {Kauffman}
  • These speculations followed the economic changes that have been taking place since the end of the Second World War: Communication networks control the distribution of energy, the management of signs controls the production of material goods. [198]
  • As the anthropological space of networks and deterritorialized acceleration continues to grow, physics becomes increasingly preoccupied with processes rather than laws, disequilibrium rather than states. [199]

The Object of the Knowledge Space: Signification and Freedom [199]

  • Collective intellects are human communities in the act of self-communication and self-reflection, involved in the permanent negotiation of relations and contexts of shared signification. [199]
  • In The Technologies of Intelligence, I suggested that the scope of the cognitive sciences be expanded and outlined a program of "cognitive ecology". [200]
  • The system for the production and distribution of knowledge doesn't depend on the individual features of the human cognitive system alone, but also on collective methods of organization and the instruments with which information is communicated and processed. [200]
  • Thus, cognitive ecology would focus on studying the interactions between the biological, social, and technical determinants of understanding. [200]
  • It refers less to the way in which a sign refers to an object than to the relationship between an event and a context. [201]
  • They are part of a contrived time, one that is moving, scattered with singularities, one that fashions the fabric of our lives. [201]
  • Evaluation. Evaluation provides the human landscape with its sense of variation and difference. [201]
  • Structure. Structural analysis only provides insights into static aspects of the paradigm. [202]
  • Moreover, such structures are generally constructed manually, following some lengthy, and often questionable, effort of interpretation. [203]
  • Structure is a modality of the system. [203]
  • Structuralism is therefore an instrument of knowledge characteristic of territorial space, manipulated by professional interpreters, who distribute its objects in accordance with transcendent coordinates or categories, and reconstruct, in theory, all possible cases. [203]
  • Statistics and probability. Probabilities, averages percentages, standard deviations, and variance, all tend to merge individual features, subjecting them to the standards they helped develop. [203]
  • Although very common in sociology, demography, game theory, and other branches of the humanities, statistics and probability are instruments of the commodity space, and incapable of analyzing freedom and signification. [204]
  • Computation. Computational linguistics does an excellent job of handling syntax but tells us little about the meaning of words in context. [204]
  • They must first affect us before we can understand them. [205]
  • In the knowledge space, each discovery is a creation. [205]
  • Inhabited by individual signatures that rise, blend with one another, and then disappear, the space of sapience is olfactory. [205]
  • Cinemaps enable collectives to singularize themselves, dynamically identify themselves in terms of the worlds they help bring into existence. [206] {fluidiom}
  • For example, to using knowledge trees, collective intellects can continuously update their classification of knowledge while their skills and learning abilities in real time. [206] {fluidiom}
  • Using health cinemaps, collective intellects can increase their medical skills, manage pharmaceutical and medical resources, combine epidemiology with the prevention, training, and empowerment of individuals. [206] {fluidiom}
  • Using language cinemaps, collective intellects can prepare semantic diagrams of their communications, enabling readers to select the texts that interest them, providing authors with a writing tools, and enabling everyone to locate messages within an evolving global context.10 [206] {fluidiom: this is exactly what fluidiom should facilitate}
  • Knowledge trees generate dynamic epistemologies as a byproduct. [206]
  • They are primarily a form of self-management for learning and training. [206]
  • In the knowledge space the preferred object of knowledge reflects the eternal becoming-beginning of earth, the perpetual resumption of becoming of the collective intellect and its world. [207]

Epistemologies [209]

Earth: Flesh [209]

  • On earth, when an old man dies, a library goes up in flames. [209]
Table: Overview of the four spaces, The Relationship to Knowledge [210]

Territory: The Book [211]

  • In territorial space, the subject of knowledge is the caste of literary specialists, hermeneuts, the guardians of systems. [211]
  • It is shut off from the outside world like a sealed book. [211]

Commodity Space: Hypertext [212]

  • In the third space knowledge is no longer enclosed, padlocked like a treasure. [212]
  • It pervades everything, is distributed, mediatized, spreads innovation wherever it is found. [212]
  • Our clumsy efforts to make use of the rigid corpses of aging disciplines are doomed to failure, since knowledge exits only at the shifting margins, the crossroads, in interference, when everything is a question of import-export. [213]

The Knowledge Space: Cosmopedia [214]

  • In this fourth space the subject of knowledge is shaped by its encyclopedia. [215
  • Because its knowledge is a knowledge of life, a living knowledge, it is what it knows. [215
  • The philosophical tradition begun by Kant abandoned ontology, the question of being, and concentrated on epistemology, the theory of knowledge. [215]
  • In contrast to Kant's critique, the perspective opened by the collective intellect shows that epistemology ultimately leads us back to ontology: there are as many qualities of being as there are ways of knowing. [215]
  • Michel Authier and I refer to the new organization of knowledge and in this fourth space as the cosmopedia. [216]
  • Why do we say that the sum of knowledge is now organized by the cosmos and not the circle? [216]
  • Because instead of a one-dimensional text or even a hypertext network, we now have dynamic and interactive multidimensional representational space. [216] {fluidiom}
  • Instead of the conjunction of image and text, characteristic of the encyclopedia, the cosmopedia combines a large number of different types of expression: static images, video, sound, interactive simulation, interactive maps, expert systems, dynamic ideographs, virtual reality, artificial life, etc. [216]
  • At its extreme the cosmopedia contains as many semiotics and types of representation as exist in the world itself. [216]
  • The cosmopedia multiplies nondiscursive utterances. [216]
  • Depending on the zones of use and paths of exploration, hierarchies between users and designers, authors and readers, are inverted. [217]
  • In the cosmopedia, all reading is writing. [218]
  • The cosmopedia is a relativistic space, which curves when we read or write in it. [218]
  • Inscription is a form of surgery (cutting, sewing, grafting, discontinuous operations in general). [218]
  • Consultation, however, is a way of massaging or folding space (inflection, continuous operations). [218]
  • Unanswered questions will create tension within cosmopedic space, indicating regions where invention and innovation are required. [218] {fluidiom}
  • the cosmopedia provides a new kind of simplicity. [218]
  • Not some mutilating simplification applied violently from without, but an essential simplicity that results from the principle of organization inherent in the knowledge space. [218]
  • Beyond the world of chaos and large numbers, beyond the incantations to complexity, simplicity is born of implication. [218]
  • Simplification is the result of the considerable reduction of the importance of text in the exposition of knowledge, which results from the inclusion of relational information in the very structure of "cosmopedic space". [218]
  • It is they who secrete and weave and sew and fold the knowledge space from within. [219]
  • Once they plunge into the cosmopedia, space reorganizes around them, depending on their history, their interests, their questions, their previous utterances. [219]
  • Once within, the member of the collective intellect swims around (navigates consults, questions, inscribes, etc.), then leaves. [219]
  • Memory of the digital waters: His swimming has modified the structure of shared space as well as the shape and position of its image in the cosmopedia (his personal navigator). [219]
  • It is the same for everyone, each time they dive into the cosmopedia. [220]
  • Together, they organize the space, define, evaluate, color, heat, or cool it. [220]
  • Each one helps build and order a space of shared signification by diving in, swimming around, and simply living in it. [220]

The Philosophy of Implication [220]

  • In the knowledge space the object constructs the subject. [221]
  • Once again, the object here is the perpetual renewal of the becoming of the collective intellect and its world. [221]
  • It is as if the subject were fabricated by the subject.7 {autopoiesis} [221]
  • As for the world, it is no longer an "objective" world, but the world of collective intellect, the world that thinks in it. [221]
  • It is as if the object produced itself. [221]

The Relationship between the Spaces: Toward a Political Philosophy [225]

Successive Eternities [225]

  • The economy of the earth is organized around gift-giving, spending, potlatch, communal sharing, and pure rapaciousness. [228]
  • In territorial space the economy is administered and managed for the long term. [228]
  • It is based on the regular collection of tributes, taxes, tithes and rent. [228]
  • The economy is obviously capitalist in the commodity space, capitalist and thus exchange- and production-based, whereas preceding spaces are characterized by gift-giving, plunder, or rent. [228]
  • The knowledge space may give rise to an economy of knowledge, some of whose underlying principles were discussed earlier. [228]

Towards a Generalized Human Ecology [229]

Conditions and Constraints [231]

Semiotics Efficiency and "Inferior" Spaces [232]

Causality without Contact [233]

  • We can't buy or distribute the thought of a collective intellect. [234]
  • We can only commercialize its projection on the commodity space, propagate unattached signs in the media market. [234]

Release and Desire [236]

  • Each new anthropological space encloses the previous space, imposes its signification, its direction, its velocity on it. [236]
  • The history of empire obscures the immemorial cycles of the earth, the accelerated rhythms of industry overturn the slow pace of peasant societies. [236]
  • The subjective temporalities of collective intellects are in turn capable of modifying the real time of commodity networks. [236]
  • The society of spectacle is that intermediary moment during which the informational sphere has already acquired some consistency without becoming fully autonomous with respect to commodity space. [236]
  • Try to imagine the power of digital and media technologies in the service of the collective imagination, used for the continuous production of subjectivity, the invention of new qualities of being. [236]
  • There are people in the commodity or territorial space who fear the establishment of a space for collective invention. [236]
  • They are unaware that competition is impossible among the spaces. [236]
  • Each space thinks and desires the others on its own terms, according to its own figures. [237
  • The relationships just described are harmonious. [238]
  • The spaces above spread their substance throughout the spaces below them. [238]
  • The lower spaces desire the spaces above. [238]
  • The ideal is achieved when the knowledge space assumes autonomy, becomes irreversible, and imagining collectives polarize anthropological gravitations, sentiments, and circulation, thus establishing the most fluid and unfettered system of relations possible. [238]
  • The word "knowledge" here doesn't imply that power will be given to intellectuals, researches, experts. [239]
  • It does not define some ideal state of perfection, but the principle of self-organization, the continuous self-invention of human communities and their worlds. [239]

The Four Cardinal Points [239]

  • Having indicated the form of the harmonious relationships among the spaces, we can now more clearly identify the cacophonous relationships among them, those that almost inevitably lead to evil and servitude, stifle ontological invention, and destroy life. [239]
  • The most harmful relationships are those that occur when the bottommost spaces attempt to violently control those above. [239]
  • Evil arises from the earth's desire to control territorial space, when the tribes destroy one another in their attempt to gain possession of the state, when a clan chief becomes the head of government. [239]
  • The absolute domination of the commodity space by the territory gives rise to a controlled economy, or planned poverty. [240]
  • In large (and small) companies, state-like bureaucracies interfere with economic initiatives, administrative routine stifles inventions, authoritarian control and separation prevent collective intelligence from spreading. [240]

Emptiness and Plenitude [241]

  • By establishing ports, canals, locks, gates, the parasite pretends to promote circulation, but ends up creating its own territory. [242] {Microsoft?}
  • Other intermediaries are always required. [242]
  • This is the infernal logic of parasitic inflation. [242]
  • The knowledge space is not simply a way out of the territorial labyrinth but a bridge between the three previous spaces. [242]
  • It enables the earth, the territory, and commodity space to communicate with another. [242]
  • The earth is eternally full. [243]
  • It is the space of the gift, of gratuitousness, of endless profusion and ever-present meaning. [243]
  • Territorial and commodity space operate through loss. [243]
  • Absence, castration, and deferral crisscross territorial space. [243]
  • In the commodity space, loss takes the form of need. [243]
  • Yet the knowledge space is not always full, like the earth, and lacks nothing, unlike the territorial and commodity spaces. [243]
  • The knowledge space is exposed to the void. [243]

Epilogue: Voyage to Knossos [245]

  • The possible encompasses systems of non-contradictory facts. [245]
  • While these do not contradict any known physical laws, they do not take present circumstances into account. [245]
  • The feasible, on the other hand, represents a much more limited range of items than the possible. [245]
  • Action lies at the interface between the feasible and fact. [245]
  • A living and permeable membrane, an active and subtle filter, action transforms feasibility into fact, extends the domain of the effective and transforms the realizable. [245]
  • Technology, in the broadest sense of the word, refers to any event whose effect will be to shift the boundary between the possible and the feasible. [246]
  • The idea of collective intelligence does not defer the question of happiness. [251]
  • Far from implying any form of self-sacrifice, it encourages us to increase the degrees of freedom of individuals and groups, to implement win-win strategies, to create synergies between knowledge and knower. [251]
  • The collective intelligence has no enemies. [251]
  • It doesn't fight power; it abandons is. [251]
  • Globalization (which turns all wars into civil wars) and nationalism, [251]

© Copyright 2000 Martien van Steenbergen

End of note taking, Saturday August 5, 2000, 21:21

Succes en plezier,
Martien-handtekening.png
Martien.